5.5/10
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6 user 22 critic

Tian tang kou (2007)

Set in Shanghai during the 1930s, the story is inspired by John Woo's classic work Bullet in the Head, released in 1990.

Director:

(as Yili Chen)

Writers:

, (as Jiang Dan) | 2 more credits »
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ah Feng
...
Da Gang
...
Lulu (as Shu Qi)
...
Xiao Hu
...
Su Zhen (as Lulu Li)
...
Boss Hong
...
Mark
...
Mei
Dian Lun Zhang ...
Xi Yan (as Zhang Dian Lun)
Jie Gao ...
Boss Chen (as Gao Jie)
Yong Xin Gui ...
Newspaper Boy (as Gui Yong Xin)
...
Lulu's Maid (as Zhang Li Qiu)
Ren Yuen Wu ...
Hu's Father (as Wu Ren Yuen)
Xiao Hu Ding ...
Rickshaw Man (as Ding Xiao Hu)
Xiang Hu ...
Young Vietnamese Man (as Hu Xiang)
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Storyline

Set in Shanghai during the 1930s, the story is inspired by John Woo's classic work Bullet in the Head, released in 1990.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The days of innocence have passed. They must make their choices like men. But at what costs? Is blood really thicker than water?

Genres:

Action | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

16 August 2007 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Blood Brothers  »

Box Office

Budget:

HKD 47,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Elegance in the absence of depth
25 August 2007 | by (Hong Kong) – See all my reviews

With the 30's Shanghai as background, the film is a gangs story, a romance story, a brotherhood story and a simple story, with a theme portraying the lust for power against brotherhood piety. The narrative is unrestricted with plots generally linear albeit that it is told in flashback. The story embeds complex relations among characters with such relations & revenges constituting parallel narratives for similarity and contrast. The narrative is framed from the perspective of Feng (Daniel Wu) and supplemented with ancillary perspective from the other lead, Mark (Chen Chang). Director Alexi Tan attempts to make it moderately stylistic by use of freeze action (not freeze frame), complete silence and some other cinematographic devices (obviously Tan restrains it from being overdone). Though the movie comes with strong leads and their fine staging, the diegesis is relatively weak and shallow in portraying the evolution of the key antagonists' personalities down the plots. Nevertheless, visual motif (flicking of cigarette on a cigarette box) is repeatedly used to reinforce the use of power and the desire for such. In terms of visuals, the film comes with replete elegant costumes and settings with Mckintoshes, western hats, suits and cuffed shirts' sleeves filling the mise-en-scenes. Fine mastering of lighting and shooting angles in the presence of both diegetic and non-diegetic music delivers a moody combination of visual and acoustic amusement to the audience. The gun-pointing scenes are fairly flamboyant in mounting up tension whilst sudden fires and zigzags of characters' motions bring occasional shocks to the audience and generate uncomfortable surprises to the audience. Yet the visual-acoustic artifice is less than sufficient to redress its shortcoming in the meek, if not weak, psychological coverage of the characters. The film is another product in which substance is subordinate to style.


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